Types of IT Service Management
Anybody with experience in IT support knows the importance of knowledge in reducing resolution time. Anybody with mathematics skills can extrapolate business value from rapid resolution. Despite its obvious benefits, Knowledge Management remains a frustration for a vast majority of enterprises. Why? Since organizations continue to approach KM as a monolithic publishing effort with ancillary inputs from Incident and Problem Management. By combining principles from Knowledge Centered Support with the ITIL framework and a few basic workflows, a company with the right cultural state of mind could make KM work with far less effort. The goal of IT Knowledge Management – IT needs for Knowledge Management isn’t complex.
Even though ITIL lists five goals for KM and KCS and boils it down to the creation, use and evolution of knowledge, this article, due to its concentrate on IT support, is more specific: the goal of IT Knowledge Management is to create, maintain and make available concise and actionable info to users and IT support groups in order to solve service disruptions rapidly and respond to client queries satisfactorily. The challenge is to collect, maintain, and make that knowledge accessible.
Flailing and Failing –
How well are IT organizations controlling your stresses their knowledge? Do support agents have rapid access to current knowledge for a vast majority of customer contacts? Does the enterprise require waves of knowledge initiatives to address a stagnant knowledge lifecycle? Is there a group of knowledge authors scrambling to review and update solutions? Are stale solutions common? Gone are the days of separate knowledge applications run by a core team of authors. The monolithic approach to KM works no better today than it did 10 years ago, but a lot of organizations continue to flail about in an attempt to write the definitive support encyclopedia.
For organizations to attain the objectives of KM, they must move toward distributed, open source authorship. If solution content originates at the point of problem support, where should authorship take place? This past weekend, I spent hours over the telephone with a satellite Television provider attempting to solve a problem on a secondary satellite receiver. After 2 hours, I noticed that the coax cable had a little red device on it and mentioned it to the support agent. Oh my Gosh!, she cried. That device prevents the receiver from communicating with the parent receiver. The instructions must had me check that right away.
Once I asked how difficult it was to update the solution, she replied that she was already doing it. This is how to make KM effective. One must drive content to the lowest possible level and implement a flexible, role-based approval mechanism that implements the updated solution with minimal fuss. Knowledge Management is Integral, Not Additional – Most companies have implemented more than one repositories of solutions and most of these organizations struggle to encourage adoption by users and authors.